I was musically and audiovisually rather pleased with my third livestream, which went out on Tuesday but is still available to catch up:
The main change technically was a new, external camera (thanks again Dad!) which seems to deliver better resolution / picture quality and better automatic exposure control (meaning lighting is less of a worry) than using the one built into my laptop – and also meant I could have the computer screen where I could actually read, and so respond to, people’s comments during the gig!
Performance-wise, I think I had just got better into a groove of streamed performances and overcome some of the initial nerves. As well as doing a certain amount of honing the ordering of music over successive gigs (including believing in myself that I could swap straight from violin to viola and play in tune!).
All of this has been borne out by positive comments from the audience faithful who watched live and tipped. Unfortunately, they were few in number … rather fewer than they had been for the second stream a fortnight earlier … which was a lot fewer than the numbers for the first one a week before that.
This would put my livestreaming activity at a crossroads anyway. As it is, it’s on an enforced pause for entirely different reasons. What I mention in the broadcast as having just enough symptoms of covid-19 to take precautions, but more likely being an allergic reaction and a pulled muscle, hasn’t turned out to be any of those things. (Well, it’s still possible I strained a muscle in my neck 10 days ago.) The coronavirus test came back negative, and it was viral not an allergy; I actually have shingles. Which, at time of writing, is chiefly sufficiently painful and itchy, especially on the left side of my neck, for me not to contemplate another solo show and the practice necessary for one for a little while.
I’m not being entirely musically idle even in rest and recovery (if you include promotional work as musical), and I do intend to try streaming again when I can hold my instruments comfortably. But given the effort and stress involved (and I live in a houseshare remember, it does take a certain amount of negotiation and suppressed guilt to make noise and monopolise the internet upload bandwidth for purely self-imposed ‘work’), live streaming will definitely be ‘on notice’ to produce worthwhile income when I resume. So encourage your contacts to keep an eye on this blog and on my Facebook page, and when I resume broadcasting, to vote with their (e)wallets!